My Reading Brain

Pretty Little Liars

By: Sara Shepard
Series: Pretty Little Liars (#1)
Summary: Alison, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer were best friends, until Alison disappeared. Three years later, the remaining girls, now juniors at Rosewood Day, are leading separate, but charmed lives.

After living in Iceland, Aria returns home sophisticated and worldly. Emily is a champion swimmer, Hanna is the most popular girl in school, and Spencer's accomplishments make the average type-A valedictorian look like a slacker. But in Rosewood, appearances are deceiving, and when the girls start receiving mysterious texts signed by someone named A, the past threatens to ruin their perfect present. A claims to know all of their secrets—but who is A? How much does A really know? And what can four pretty little liars do to protect themselves from the truth?

Review: A slumber party goes horribly wrong one night for Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna when their best friend, Alison, disappears. Because of their devastating loss, the four girls drift apart, leading separate lives. Aria goes to Iceland, Spencer does extracurriculars, Emily swims, and Hanna becomes popular at Rosewood Day. Three years later, they receive ominous text messages from someone named A, who threatens to reveal secrets that only Alison knows.

This book’s premise is its best feature. This could have been a great read if the author had done a good job of handling every part of the story, except the mystery. The characters in the story are shallow and the author emphasizes their appearance, especially their clothing. I find the messages to be appallingly unhealthy. It showed the love between Aria and her English teacher as real, not wrong, considering their power dynamic. Wearing designer labels, being thin, and being wealthy are also implied messages.

Despite a mild interest in learning who A is, I will not continue reading the series. I'm intrigued by the mystery, but the characters and writing aren't captivating. You’ll probably enjoy this if you liked Gossip Girl.